Hepatitis A Outbreak in the United States: North Carolina Cases Exceed 1,000
The number of hepatitis A cases in North Carolina has topped 1,000, according to state health officials. The infections are linked to a nationwide outbreak that has lasted since 2017.
North Carolina is one of the states affected by a nationwide hepatitis A outbreak that has been monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2017. Since 2018, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has begun keeping track of the state’s hepatitis A cases.
The department stated in a news release on Tuesday that 63 percent of the cases reported in the state required hospitalization, including 16 deaths. Since August 2020, the number of instances has climbed “substantially,” according to the bureau. In fact, 495 cases linked to the outbreak have been registered since January 1, showing a “significant surge in transmission.”
Since the outbreak was initially discovered, the CDC has received over 41,000 reports of hepatitis A illnesses from 36 states. As of July 23, the outbreak was still going on in 27 states, while nine others have announced an end to theirs.
As a result, authorities are reminding individuals that a hepatitis A vaccine is available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined the categories of people who are most at risk of contracting hepatitis A or developing a major complication from it, and they should obtain the vaccine to help control or prevent an outbreak. Those who use drugs (injection or non-injection), those who are homeless or have insecure housing, men who have sex with men, those who have been recently or are presently incarcerated, and individuals who have cirrhosis, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C are among those who fall into this category.
People in high-risk categories for this outbreak can get the hepatitis A vaccine for free at all local health departments, according to the NCDHHS.
Unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the virus in the last two weeks should take a post-exposure prophylaxis.
The hepatitis A virus is present in the blood and stool of infected patients, according to the CDC. It can be contracted by coming into close contact with someone who has it or by swallowing infected food or drink, even in tiny amounts.
Those who are experiencing hepatitis A symptoms such as fever, exhaustion, nausea, jaundice, or dark-colored urine should consult their health care provider. Brief News from Washington Newsday.